Off The Wall, December 03, 2010

Mary Jane Winniger was walking to work. Along her path of travel were beautiful, flowery weeds growing. As her stride increased in speed, it is probable that many things were on her mind – getting to work on time, finishing the spreadsheets and answering the many phone calls that come into the office.

What she didn’t take into consideration is, maybe this would be the last time she would be walking the pavement. Due to many reasons, this could be her last day on the job.

Looking back, if Mary Jane would have slowly directed her approach to her place of employment. Momentarily slowing down to admire the flowers that God had created for her to enjoy, she would then go on her way. Maybe she could say a little prayer along her way thanking God for this touch of color that added something positive to her thoughts rather than comprehending the consumption of her duties that lay before her. She could ask Him to help her through what lays before her in her daily tasks. Now, to my way of thinking, that may be a better approach, wouldn’t you say?

Little Billie Sanders was asked what he wanted for Christmas. As he sat on Santa’s lap, he thought and thought, and finally exclaimed, “I want a fire truck, a bulldozer, a scooter, fishing rod and another baby boy I can play with so I won’t have to play with a sister!”

Santa looked at him in amazement. “I can probably bring you most of those things, but not a new baby brother. You will have to talk to your Mommy and Daddy about that.

When Christmas day came, all the presents that Billie asked for were under the tree for the exception of a new little brother. The four-year old kicked up a fuss. It just may be that this little fellow should be thankful for the many blessings he has received from God, rather than bickering over requests and desires he asked for but didn’t get.

When the youngster ripped open the packaging he looked at one item for a few seconds and then moved on to the next package. He never so much as played with his bulldozer or built up the ladders on his fire truck. It was though he took everything for granted that he was automatically going to receive all kinds of gifts and that was that. There was no reason to cherish or give thanks. He expected all that was requested.

There are people who can’t afford the wealth of gifts this youth acquired. When they are blessed with one or two items, they treasure what was obtained. It may be that Billie should have a change of attitude and understand that Santa has just so many packages he can deliver in one night’s flight, and not all boys and girls can have delivered what he got. Each parcel is a gift from God, and should be cared for accordingly.

And then we have Martin Williger. Married to a very wonderful and loving middle-aged woman, he has fathered five children. They live in a small community of about 7,000. He is a professor at a nearby college and is an extremely intelligent individual.

He and his family love God and attend the local church. They never miss weekly Mass.

Up to the present, Martin has always been healthy. He ate what he wanted, played with and read to his children, and exercised little as he felt he never had time to do so.

One day while at lunch, our philosophy instructor was stricken with a stroke in the lunchroom. He was rushed to the local hospital where he was treated and admitted. After a period of time, he was given a list of requirements by his doctors, including exercising more, eating a healthy diet, and then released. With him he carried a little bag of bottles containing a number of pills that would aid in his recovery.

Just maybe, living a healthier lifestyle may have benefited Martin. A quick walk for at least one-half hour a morning or evening would have possibly prevented his health problems. Eating too much of junk and fattening foods clogging his articles could have led to his health problems. If Martin wanted to improve his health, his challenges lay ahead. It was up to him to “grab the reins” and head forward.

What then do all three people have in common? What they failed to taken into consideration is that God has a plan for each of us. Take time to smell the roses, don’t assume that everything you ask for, you will receive, and cherish the body God has given you. These are all gifts. It is up to you to make the best of them.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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